"It's Essential That I Explain This Properly"
I didn't watch the Russert interview but I read the transcript. Russert quotes Paul Wolfowitz saying that Saddam's brutality toward Iraqis"by itself is a reason to help Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did.” Russert then asks the President, knowing what we know now, was it worth it? His answer starts out reasonably coherent, but then the train's gone off the rails by the last paragraph:
It's essential that I explain this properly to the parents of those who lost their lives. Saddam Hussein was dangerous, and I’m not gonna leave him in power and trust a madman. He's a dangerous man. He had the ability to make weapons at the very minimum. For the parents of the soldiers who have fallen who are listening, David Kay, the weapons inspector, came back and said, “In many ways Iraq was more dangerous than we thought.” It's we are in a war against these terrorists who will bring great harm to America, and I've asked these young ones to sacrifice for that.
A free Iraq will change the world. It's historic times. A free Iraq will make it easier for other children in our own country to grow up in a safer world because in the Middle East is where you find the hatred and violence that enables the enemy to recruit its killers.
And, Tim, as you can tell, I've got a foreign policy that is one that believes America has a responsibility in this world to lead, a responsibility to lead in the war against terror, a responsibility to speak clearly about the threats that we all face, a responsibility to promote freedom, to free people from the clutches of barbaric people such as Saddam Hussein who tortured, mutilated there were mass graves that we have found a responsibility to fight AIDS, the pandemic of AIDS, and to feed the hungry. We have a responsibility. To me that is history's call to America. I accept the call and will continue to lead in that direction.
If I was the parent of one of the soldiers who got killed in Iraq, and the President sets out to explain to me what he died for, my guess is I wouldn't be too happy with a sloppy, themeless pudding of an answer that ends with fighting AIDS and feeding the hungry. What in the world is he talking about?
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